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Document review projects - a lucrative way for law graduates to gain useful and interesting experience and build their network

For the past 5 years I have assisted LLB/LPC law graduates and paralegals secure temporary document review roles outside London in various key legal centres that include Birmingham, Bristol and Manchester. London was historically the main centre for such document review projects, but many national and international law firms now have teams outside the capital and are keen to expand these teams and their capabilities.

At Chadwick Nott we have a long track record of placing large numbers of experienced document review lawyers in London and also the regions, but we have seen the market for more junior lawyers grow over the last year or so. 

Many junior candidates I speak to are completely unaware of document review projects and what an excellent option they are for graduates looking to gain experience. Once they have joined a project the feedback from so many of my contacts has been fantastic. Both LLB/LPC law graduates and experienced paralegals have enjoyed their time on the projects, but very importantly have found that working on a temporary assignment is an excellent stepping stone – this is especially true for those who are wanting/need to secure practical legal experience within a commercial law firm.

Gaining practical experience as a raw LLB/LPC law graduate can be difficult. Many junior candidates ring me and say "Bianca, I feel like I am chasing my tail, firms require experience but no one is willing to provide me with that experience".  So this is where temporary document review work is invaluable – a first step on the paralegal ladder which can lead onto greater things.

In summary there are many benefits of working on a document review project, which include:

  • Excellent opportunity to gain work experience within a commercial law firm (often a well-known firm)
  • You get to put into practice certain legal principles you have learned during your degree or postgraduate studies, which will help grow your knowledge
  • Development and practising of an array of skills needed in most legal roles, including: demonstrating excellent attention to detail; analysing complex information; extracting the key ideas from large volumes of information and being able to simplify complex documents and using e-disclosure software (Relativity).
  • Great for networking, building contacts within the legal market and even impressing senior managers in the law firm
  • Opportunity to gain first hand insight into how a law firm works on a day to day basis
  • By undertaking an assignment, brief or on-going , you can demonstrate interest and commitment to the firm and have more chance of gaining further legal work experience in different departments/teams
  • Potential to be considered for permanent roles within the firm
  • Exposure to various practice areas and interesting cases – this will help you to explore which area of law you’d like to specialise in as your career develops
  • To be involved in large litigation matters, some of which are publicised in the press, could be a great addition to your CV
  • Any experience and insights will be great material to add to training contract applications and to be discussed at interview
  • At times there are opportunities to use any language skills you have
  • Contracts can be great – you can pick and choose which projects and gain experience while searching for a permanent role. Projects can allow you the time to job search for the perfect permanent option while paying the rent
  • Document review projects can be lucrative - many firms offer excellent hourly rates and in addition to the standard rate overtime is also available. Many firms offer time and a half in the week and double pay on weekends. It’s a bit like a paid internship!
  • Lastly but not least projects can offer you the opportunity to travel and work in various cities across the UK such as London, Bristol, Birmingham and Manchester

Document review projects are generally available in the large, national and often global law firms. Temporary project work is a fantastic opportunity for those who would like to gain a feel of what it is like working in this type of law firm. Is this the environment and culture, where you see yourself building a career or do feel that a medium or high street firm is more suited to you?

Chadwick Nott works with both UK & US law firms and some of the major LPO’s (Legal Process Outsourcers) in providing staffing solutions for their document review needs. If you are an LLB/LPC law graduate or paralegal with litigation experience and wish to gain valuable practical legal experience for your CV and would like to investigate this area of law, then please do get in touch.

Contact me directly for a confidential chat about our services and how we might be able to assist you at biancagibbs@chadwicknott.co.uk or on 0117 917 1860.

Bianca joined Chadwick Nott in 2014, and has already built a successful interim business, helping firms and solicitors across the South of England and South Wales. Prior to using her skills in the recruitment market, Bianca worked as a Paralegal for five years, specialising in Claimant and Defendant Personal Injury and RTA fraud matters. She built her experience with high profile regional firms including Irwin Mitchell and DAC Beachcroft.

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